You’ve probably heard of the film Blade Runner, and possibly the book it’s loosely based on, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, but it’s unlikely you’ll have heard of the Blade Runner book series, a continuation of Philip K Dick’s depressing future that currently spans three books (book 1 being the original by PKD). One K. W. Jeter is the writer upon whose shoulders the responsiblity rests, and in this, the second of his Blade Runner books (remember, book 1 was PKD’s original), he’s managed to pull it off quite well.
For those of us who have not read the first of the sequels (subtitled The Edge Of Human), a little plot update is necessary: the sequel books use the film’s version of PKD’s world, and in The Edge Of Human, the Tyrell HQ is blown up and Deckard escapes to Mars.
This book follows Deckard still, as he tries to make a little cash from a film company who want to use his story. It also turns out that living offworld isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Deckard and his love/hate partner Sarah have not only Tyrell Corporation zealots to contend with, but also replicant sympathisers and more replicants, all after their blood. And then there’s the little girl…the girl who bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain (now dead) replicant whom Deckard was very fond of.
Whilst it doesn’t quite have the same scope of imagination as PKD’s original, Replicant Night does manage to capture the feel of both the original book, and that of the film. Not quite as original as “Do Androids…”, Replicant Night instead takes the established dark future vision of PKD and plants within it a tale of conspiracy and back-stabbing. And the ending it leads to is not exactly happy, just…and ending. Of sorts (after all, there’s at least one more book in the series).
All in all, well worth a look for sci-fi fans, especially if you like Blade Runner. A 4/5